Jay Shirley

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The Daily Practice

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The Second Month.

Published: 06 Sep 2012

Two months ago I started a journey of independence. I quit my job committed to focusing on TDP, my healthy lifestyle assistant. Lots has happened since then, some good and some bad. Just two weeks ago I finally published my One month of freedom writeup. This was 2 weeks late because of catastrophic knee failure.

Now I’m entering the third month, my knee is recovering and my vigor renewed. What better way to celebrate than a monthly report.

What is it you would say you do here?

I’m going to recap everything that I added or accomplished in August. Looking back at the logs, I did a lot. While this was happening it didn’t seem like much got done through August. It felt that my knee was keeping me from accomplishing anything.

  • Standardized and revamped the style using a heavily customized Bootstrap.
  • Nailed down how to authenticate the mobile client. This also is 100% using the API! As soon as I have the first round of testers on the mobile site, I’ll be opening the API.
  • Improved load times through reducing HTTP requests. This was very necessary for mobile, even though the site is still fairly unusable on mobile.
  • Have a functioning mobile-friendly client, though not released or talking to the production webservices. Next week I’m hoping to wrap this up. It works now and is in testing!

The Good

I’m thrilled with how TDP is going. The new features that were completed and shipped were great; the new features are more exciting. More importantly, I’m happy with how rapidly I can add new bells and whistles. I’ve been extending the API with ease, plus work to switch out views based on the viewing device. It’s been a lot of fun to see this stuff mature.

I chronically suffer from not talking about what I’m working on. This is starting to change. I’m so happy with where TDP is I want to talk to people about it. I also genuinely think it can help people. People want to improve and get better, and just need a little help getting there. I’m certainly no exception. If I stopped tracking my progress on TDP, I’d drop all the good habits I’ve built up.

The Bad

Still no revenue. I’m certainly not stressed, I wasn’t expecting to get revenue until September at the earliest anyway. Maybe in October if I have no revenue I’ll start to get stressed. I’ve been freelancing to close the cost of living gap. We have a reasonable chunk of money set aside, plus our living expenses are relatively low. No reason to fret.

I’ve also seen a lot of other similar sites start popping up. I think their focus is different, and I love competition. I love seeing (and stealing) the good ideas. I hope I can offer some good ideas for them to steal as well.

The most beautiful one, which deserves a shoutout just because of looks, is Lift.do. It’s gorgeous. I still like TDP and the focus on not breaking the chain though.

One of those, “This is bad but really good” items here is that I don’t think I can successfully just go back as a developer again. Being in charge of a product like this feels to good. I don’t want to lose that feeling.

The Awesome

Last week I had the opportunity to explain to a new acquaintance about what I’m doing. I’ve always struggled with this. In fact, I turn into a bumbling idiot when I try to explain any of my projects (see above about talking about it).

But not this time! I had a prepared elevator pitch. This surprised me, as I don’t remember preparing it. Unfortunately, the pitch was being delivered to my physical therapist as she was inflicting pain upon me. There were some awkward pauses.

This confidence and passion gives me comfort and reassures me. I’m making the right choices because I’m happy. I love showing TDP to people. Since I believe it can help people and businesses accomplish more and be more productive, I want to share. I want people to do better.

I’m about to launch the first mobile version. Once that is done I’ll be focusing on business level features. I’m running about a week behind, which is excusable due to my knee.

All in all, this is still the best career decision I’ve ever made.

Carpe Diem, Indeed.